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Volunthai’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2008

Location: Ban Luam, Thailand

MapWe'll never forget the hospitality and the tolerance of the people here. They're always smiling and full of joy to have foreign people with them. They often treated us like VIPs. Our host family was very friendly and did a lot of things with us. On the weekends we went sightseeing (National Park, ancient temple) and shopping. In the evening we cooked together and watched movies. The family included us in their daily life (we were even invited to the funeral of a family member). They cared a lot about us, just like a real family.
The most important thing we had to learn was to take every day as it turns out because we never knew what was going to happen! Many times we didn't know who was going to pick us up, where we were going, or what they expected us to do there. The funny thing was that they all always knew what we did, said, ate, etc. This is real life in a small town!
We definitely learned to improvise. One day we taught 60 students for about three hours without any preparation while teachers were filming us. Another day we prepared lessons, but when we arrived at school they told us we had the day off. In the classroom, it's sometimes difficult to guess the ability of a class because age and grade don't tell you much about the studentsí ability to speak English. We had ten year old students who were much better then 16 year old ones. The other difficulty is that most of them are quite shy. They love playing games and singing but it's important that no single student is singled out too much.
We both think that this project is a very good thing for Thai students as well as for volunteers. We hope we can take some of this hospitality and tolerance back home to Switzerland. (P.S. If you can read Swiss German there is a more detailed blog and more pics under

Cheers, Nora and Marc